Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chili cookoff, cake decorating and culinary skills

Culinary specialists from Navy ships and surface commands in the San Diego area participated in three competitions on August 22, 2008. Competitions included a chili cookoff, cake decorating contest and professional culinary skills competition.

One enlisted culinary specialist per command could enter each contest. A culinary specialist was only able to enter one of the three events. Chief petty officers were excluded from the competition.

For the chili cookoff, the cook prepared two gallons of chili in the ship's galley, either traditional red chili or chili verde. Following International Chili Society rules, beans and pasta were not allowed. Entries were judged on originality of ingredients, texture and appearance and taste.

The cake decorating contest featured similar rules. One one baker per command baked and decorated one cake with a nautical or naval theme in the ship's bakery. The cakes were frosted and decorated with a boiled or butter cream frosting. Entries were judged on originality of design, color combination, texture of frosting, texture of cake and taste.

For the culinary skills competition (pictured above), culinary specialists submitted a recipe for 100 servings to the competition coordinator five days before the event. In addition for the standard recipe format, each recipe had to show calorie, cholesterol, carbohydrate and sodium content for each serving.

Recipes were then evaluated on serving size, nutritional balance, creativity, flavor, taste and palatability. The top 15 finalists prepared at least 25 portions and presented their entries to the judges.

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